Aspen’s retail sales continue steep climb |

Aspen’s retail sales continue steep climb

ASPEN – Retailers collected $2.84 million more in July than they did in the same month last year, according to the monthly consumption tax report the city released Thursday.

The report shows July sales of $57.02 million, a 5.3 percent increase compared with $54.18 million in July 2011 . Hotel and other accommodations-related bookings were the sales area that fared best, with a $1.35 million increase that translated into a 9.8 percent uptick over the same month last year.

All but two of the city’s 13 sales categories showed improvement. Restaurants and bars were up 4.3 percent, sports equipment and clothing were 7.6 percent higher, construction showed a 16 percent increase, and specialty retail rose 8.2 percent.

In June, retail sales in Aspen were the best they’ve been in 10 years, according to the city’s Finance Department. Retailers reported sales of $44.05 million, a 15.6 percent increase compared with $38.11 million in June 2011. As was the case in July, the strong sales month was sparked by the accommodations category, reflecting lodging sales. The category realized $12.1 million in June, a 35.8 percent increase compared with $8.91 million during the same month last year.

Year-to-date sales continue to outpace expectations. Through the first seven months of the year, retailers recorded $324.19 million, an 8.9 percent boost over sales of $297.57 million in the January-to-July period of 2011.

The city’s 2.1 percent sales tax collected $1.19 million in July, a 5 percent increase over $1.13 million in the same month last year.

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